MMANews.com's own Aaron Martinez and Chris Howie reporting …
Cung Le held a media event today at his new gym in Milpitas, CA to promote his up coming fight against Frank Shamrock on March 29th for the Strikeforce middleweight title. The event consisted of a light work out and then a brief interview session with the local media outlets.
“This is my biggest fight ever in my whole career, whether it’s an amateur fight to a professional fight. This is the biggest.” Le said after a short but intense workout that consisted of abusing a heavy bag with kicks that would rival a swing from a baseball bat, throwing a dummy into the air as if it were weightless, sparring with a grappling partner for several minutes, and then sparing with hand pads in the cage.
His attitude towards Frank Shamrock is intense yet very respectful of the champ’s experience, place in the same community that Le resides and trains in, as well as Shamrock’s submission abilities. “Frank is well rounded on the ground and he can catch a lot different submissions, and it’s just (a matter) of being aware of different submissions in the transition.” Le said, although he is confident he can go outside of his usual game plan to hopefully nullify Shamrock’s strength against Le, “I think where Frank is very dangerous is in the transition in the scramble, and if I eliminate that then I eliminate a big part of Frank’s game.” Even though Le appears to be completely respectful of Shamrock he has no doubts that he will be better and more dangerous striker as well as the better wrestler. “I can’t wait to crack Frank upside his head with my shin.” Le said, and “My job is to look sharp picking Frank apart. I defiantly see a lot of holes in his game and I’m looking at exploiting them.”
Besides working on the transition scramble, Le isn’t going to far from his regular training regiment. He is sleeping in a high altitude simulation tent and when he works on his cardio he is using a mask that simulates between a 9,000 and 12,500-foot elevation. He is also working with ASU wrestlers James Terry and Sam Spangler, who were both high school All Americans.
If Le defeats Shamrock, not only would it technically be considered an upset but he will also solidify his stature as a legitimate World Class MMA fighter. The common opinion of Le is that he is easily one of the elite strikers in all of MMA, but his lack of experience has been a concern as well as his ground game of course. Despite what MMA fans believe or think, Le has his own opinions on his progression, “Two years later and I’m fighting for the world title.”
With the recent rumors about Strikeforce creating a deal with NBC and some primetime network television coverage, becoming a Strikeforce Champion has more meaning then it ever has. When asked about the recent rumors Le said, “I believe I will be on Network TV very soon. There is a deal that I can’t speak about with Strikeforce, so I am going to keep my mouth shut, But watch out here we come.”
One way to gain recognition with the passive or even potential MMA fan is to create a fight card that is equally exciting as a UFC event with talent that is equal or possible better. With Jake Shield fighting Drew Fickett for the welterweight title and Cung Le and Shamrock fight for the middleweight title this is possibly the most anticipated fight card that Strikeforce has yet to produce. Not a bad way to hype the deal with NBC and the legitimacy of another MMA organization that can produce a competitive card outside of the UFC.
For EXCLUSIVE photos from Cung Le's open-media workout, CLICK HERE.